Breville vs. Delonghi: Which Is Better for You?

Published on 01/29/2024 · 10 min readChoosing between Breville and Delonghi? Our comparison covers their strengths in espresso machines and kitchen appliances to help you decide what's best for you.
August Croft, Coffee Expert
By Coffee Expert August Croft

Photo by Caterina Trimarchi

TL;DR: Both Breville and De’Longhi offer espresso lovers top-of-the-line machines at fair prices. Overall, De’Longhi machines tend to be more beginner-friendly, while Breville affords experienced baristas more control over their espresso. De’Longhi also has more espresso drink options in their super-automatic lineup compared to Breville, something that may interest the budding home barista—but it all depends on your preferences!

In this article, I compare and contrast two giants in the espresso industry: De’Longhi and Breville. By going over their product lineup and detailing how these two brands differ, I can help you discover which is your perfect fit too.

As a former professional barista who chose to bring a Breville espresso machine into their own home, I understand the ins and outs of choosing between two great brands of espresso machine. These two brands are strikingly similar—but I did the research so you won’t have to!

First thing’s first: When comparing two coffee brand names, it can be helpful to have an understanding of their roots. Let’s discuss where each brand came from, and where they stand as a brand today, so that you can start understanding which one is the best choice for you.

Who is Breville?

The Breville Bambino Plus. Photo courtesy of Breville

Also known as Breville Group Limited, Breville established itself in Australia and has been manufacturing appliances since 1932. Now specializing in coffee products, kitchen gadgets, and more, Breville once produced radios and mine detectors. However, the brand discovered its true niche in kitchen appliances during the 1960s.

Currently, Breville’s product line is immense. Over 100 patents and 40 design awards have been assigned to the Breville name, with plenty more to come. Important partnerships and acquisitions established by Breville include Nespresso in 2013, Baratza in 2020, and Lelit in 2022.

Who is De’Longhi?

Established in Treviso, Italy in 1902, De’Longhi was once solely known for its work in air conditioners and heaters. However, the company swiftly grew and began producing any and all small kitchen appliances imaginable. Other domestic products also fall under De’Longhi’s name, including irons, vacuum cleaners, and more.

After acquiring Kenwood and some rights to the Braun brand name, De’Longhi’s home appliance line only grew. In 2004, De’Longhi partnered with Nespresso to establish their brand in the coffee industry. And in 2017, De’Longhi made an important agreement with Eversys, a Swiss brand focused on high-tech coffee advancements such as super-automatic machines.

Different Types of Breville and De’Longhi Products

While the Breville and De’Longhi product lineups appear similar, there are subtle differences between the two. One of the primary differences is in the design of De’Longhi and Breville. There’s a classic slant to the aesthetics of De’Longhi, a design that honors their Italian coffee roots. Breville’s aesthetics lean more modern and technologically inspiring, something that aligns well with their innovative products!

Here’s a more specific overview of the coffee products you may want to know about from both Breville and De’Longhi to help inform your decision:

Breville

From a coffee standpoint alone, Breville has many products and features available. Innovative technology and ease of use are two things Breville prioritizes in all of their high-quality machines, though some manual options are still available for the home barista. Many of Breville’s appliances are compact and sleek in design, including their:

  • 6 coffee makers, including drip machines and milk frothers
  • 29 Nespresso machines (for use with pods)
  • 12 espresso machines, with both manual and automatic choices
  • 2 coffee grinder products

De’Longhi

With Italian heritage, the De’Longhi brand name often appeals to a more traditional coffee crowd. But don’t let tradition fool you—De’Longhi’s products prioritize just as many technological innovations as Breville, something best illustrated by their following appliances:

  • 6 coffee makers, including drip and espresso machine combos
  • 32 Nespresso machines (for use with pods)
  • 16 espresso machines, with both manual and automatic choices
  • 2 coffee grinder products

What to Consider When Choosing Between Breville and De’Longhi

Your morning cup of coffee is incredibly important. Given the similarities between Breville and De’Longhi, getting specific about your needs is a must! Here are some things to keep in mind when making your final decision between these two brands.

What is Your Budget?

While Breville and De’Longhi have incredibly similar price points for their products, knowing your budget will help you determine the right fit for your kitchen. For example, some of the manual espresso machines offered by Breville come in at a much lower price point compared to the super-automatic machines offered by De’Longhi.

But is a lower-priced manual machine the right fit for your lifestyle? And, if you’re seeking a super-automatic espresso machine, do you need all of the features offered by some of the higher-priced options from either brand, such as digital temperature control and automatic sensor technologies?

The good news is, both Breville and De’Longhi offer espresso machines and coffee makers under $2,000. In fact, both of these brands offer products at varying price points, with varying features, in order to suit every budget! However, it's always a good idea to have your specific budget in mind, given the number of products on offer by both Breville and De’Longhi.

How Much Hands-on Work Do You Want to Do?

Before buying, you should determine how much hands-on work you plan on doing for your morning cup. Both Breville and De’Longhi offer their customers the flexibility of manual or automatic machines. Some of the espresso machines offered by these brands afford home baristas the perfect blend of hands-on specificity, as well as easy automation. But, besides cleaning the drip tray and changing the water filter, how hands-on do you want to be?

Looking for a drip coffee maker with a built-in grinder? De’Longhi has products for you. Seeking an innovative pour-over option for your third wave coffee beans, freshly ground by hand? Breville machines may be the right choice. If you want a super-automatic espresso machine, both of these brands have you covered. The same can be said for manual espresso machines as well.

Regardless of your choice, both Breville and De’Longhi have learning curves that need to be mastered in order to operate their machines. While the user interfaces on the average Breville or De’Longhi espresso machine are simple enough to understand, you may need to adjust your expectations in terms of how much manual work is needed for your chosen coffee maker!

What Types of Espresso Drinks Do You Want to Make?

The drink selection screen on the Breville the Barista Touch Espresso Machine

If you have your heart set on an espresso machine, understanding the types of drinks you want to make most may affect your overall decision. While both De’Longhi and Breville offer their customers a variety of espresso drink recipes in their super-automatic machine lineups, De’Longhi tends to beat out Breville when it comes to iced coffee drinks and cold brews.

Of course, it's easy enough to make iced coffee drinks manually or with a standard espresso machine. But, if you're seeking ease of access and a more automated morning cup of coffee, the De’Longhi brand may be the right choice for you over Breville. This is especially true when we consider De’Longhi's recent developments in cold brew technology, automatic milk frothing, and more.

Regardless of the type of espresso drink you prefer, this may be the most important question for you to answer before making your final decision between Breville and De’Longhi. As you'll see later on in this article, De’Longhi affords more variety to coffee lovers hoping to purchase a super-automatic machine. While Breville offers many types of espresso drinks in their automatic machines, De’Longhi's iced coffee and latte art technology can't be beat!

Do You Want an Espresso Machine or Another Type of Coffee Maker?

There are many similarities in the product lineups between Breville and De’Longhi. Ultimately, both brands offer their customers multiple types of espresso machines as well as other coffee makers, such as pour-over or drip machine choices. However, De’Longhi offers more products overall compared to Breville’s espresso makers, especially when it comes to super-automatic espresso machines.

The integration of certain products should also be something you consider when choosing between Breville and De’Longhi machines. While both brands offer espresso machines with built-in grinders, Breville is more likely to offer separation between grinders and drip machines. Likewise, De’Longhi and Breville may have differences in their milk frothers or milk steaming options, which is definitely something to keep in mind!

What Aesthetic and Size Are You Hoping For?

The Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Machine is fairly small and sleek

With so many similarities, aesthetics and dimensions often determine whether home baristas choose Breville or De’Longhi in the end. Representing the roots of espresso’s history, De’Longhi produces machines with old world flair and aesthetics. Breville produces similar items, but stainless steel and high-tech appearances are prioritized.

Likewise, the size of your coffee maker will largely be determined by the type of coffee maker you choose. Overall, De’Longhi offers espresso machines with a more compact footprint compared to Breville, though any manual machine will be an exception to this rule. Still, choosing an espresso machine that's the right size for your kitchen and counter space is a must!

Breville vs. De’Longhi: How to Choose the Right Brand for You

Sometimes, hearing from Breville or De’Longhi customers is the best way to determine the right fit for you. Below, I’ve described three customers which represent different “barista personas,” and my recommendations for their perfect pick. If you're still on the fence about which brand is your top choice, check out these sample scenarios to help you deliberate!

Steven: Tech & Coffee Enthusiast with an Unlimited Budget

Excited by new tech, but busier than the average home barista, Steven wants an espresso machine full of features without the need for hands-on help. Budget isn’t an issue, but Steven wants a machine that also works for his wife, an espresso novice and fan of cold foam and cappuccino drinks.

Features Steven should look for:

  • Super-automatic machines with cold foam choices at the touch of a button
  • Sleek and aesthetic branding
  • Efficient heating and cooling boilers for bustling mornings

Machine Examples:

Selling fast
  • Free shipping
  • We price match
  • Returnable

Sarah: Budget-Conscious & Hands-On Pro

A new, full-time barista, Sarah wants to buy her first espresso machine so that she can practice in her own apartment. However, Sarah’s budget is under $500 for an espresso machine, a difficult price point for most automatic options. Thankfully, Sarah isn’t afraid to pull her own shot of espresso and adjust things manually, especially since she’s familiar with grind sizes and dialing in!

Features Sarah should look for:

  • Espresso machines under $500
  • Manual and durable machine options
  • Sleek and elegant simplicity for a smaller kitchen

Machine Examples:

  • Free shipping
  • We price match
  • Returnable

Riley: Home Barista Seeking Third Wave Faves

A long-time coffee fanatic, Riley wants to bring third wave coffee into their home. Hoping to spend under $1,000, Riley wants an appliance that prioritizes quality crema extraction. They are willing to do some manual espresso work to achieve the flavor profile they’re hoping for. Likewise, a premium cup of drip from a quality coffee machine may be just the ticket too.

Features Riley should look for:

  • Espresso and drip all-in-one machines
  • Mid-range price point semi-automatic espresso machines
  • Appliances with built-in options like a grinder, steam wand, water tank, etc

Machine Examples:

Find the Best Espresso Machine For You

Given just how similar Breville and De’Longhi products can be, you may feel overwhelmed by your choices. Thankfully, one of our Curated Coffee & Espresso Experts can help you. Chat with a Curated Expert today for free, personalized advice about whether De’Longhi or Breville is the right choice for you!

Curated experts can help

Have a question about the article you just read or want personal recommendations? Connect with a Curated expert and get free recommendations for whatever you’re looking for!

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